Quick Hits from a Day at FedExForum with the Tigers and Grizzlies:
• The Grizzlies will start a four-game road trip Monday at Golden State in the best possible condition after their 128-95 pounding of the Sacramento Kings Saturday, Jan. 21 – on a six-game winning streak. They are now 9-6 and have some margin for error, which they might need considering they have games at Portland and the Los Angeles Clippers.
“We’re on a roll,” said guard O.J. Mayo, who had a season-high 22 points and knocked down 6-of-10 shots from 3-point range.
“Four games, seven days,” Rudy Gay said of the road trip. “It speaks for itself.”
• The Tigers, coming off a painful one-point loss at Central Florida, beat SMU 63-45 to kick off a three-game homestand. Now 13-6 and 4-1 in Conference USA, this is their opportunity to build momentum. The Tigers led 30-28 at halftime and had started to mirror the Mustangs (SMU took went 4-for-16 from 3-point range in the first half and the Tigers were 2-for-11).
“Coach (Josh Pastner) came in the locker room at halftime and read us our stats,” said forward Tarik Black, who had 11 points and 13 rebounds. “We shot too many 3’s. They play a great zone and he told us, `don’t settle.’”
• Tigers forward Ferrakohn Hall started the game, but played just 11 minutes and had no points and one rebound. He didn’t seem pleased to be spending so much time on the bench.
“I just didn’t think he was getting the job done,” Pastner said, saying of Hall’s poor body language on the bench: “We don’t have time to enable or baby.”
• Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley continued his strong play by scoring 15 first-quarter points on the way to a season-high 22 with six assists.
“It was just one of those nights,” he said. “The lane seemed like it was wide open and all the shots were falling.”
• Pastner praised his team’s defensive effort and SMU did shoot miserably – 32.6 percent overall and 18.5 percent from 3-point range (5-for-27). A decent amount of the 3-point shots were wide-open looks, although Pastner didn’t exactly agree.
“We had hands in their faces, too,” the coach said.
• Pastner also said that he believes the Tigers could be 17-2 or 16-3 instead of 13-6. “We’ve lost several games with a little possession here, a little possession there,” he said. “And that bites you in the butt.”
• Dante Cunningham played almost 20 minutes for the Grizzlies – all of them in the second half and they were all he needed to get 10 rebounds and 7 points.
“Dante showed a lot of professionalism,” said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. “He didn’t play in the first half. Then he came out in the second half and was the first guy in the rotation. He did an outstanding job defensively, blocking shots, taking charges, and he made some shots.”
• By the numbers:
191-140 – the combined of score of the Memphis teams versus their opponents Saturday.
24 and 13 – Will Barton’s points and the number of consecutive games he has scored in double-figures for the Tigers.
50 – Grizzlies field goals, tying the NBA high set on Jan. 3 here when the Griz beat the Kings.
8:57 – The period of time the Tigers held SMU scoreless in the second half.
27 – The Grizzlies’ assists, a season high.
9 – The Tigers’ rebounding edge (36-27) over SMU.
15 – Grizzlies forward Marreese Speights’ rebounds, a career best.